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Martin Professional LEDs energise Danish power plant exterior

Danish waste management company Kara/Noveren has adorned its new state-of-the-art waste-to-energy incineration line in Roskilde, Denmark, with equally energy conscious Martin Professional LED lighting fixtures.

Increasing demands to reduce Co2 emissions from fossil fuels prompted the company to look for alternative energy production. Implementing a modern facility to replace two furnaces would allow Kara/Noveren to utilise the energy resources from residual waste that cannot otherwise be recycled.

The three-year project saw The Energy Tower (as it is popularly known) come together through designs by Dutch Archtect and expert in sustainable design Erick Van Egeraat. Key to the design of the facility was for it to become a Danish landmark such would be its prominence in the skyline.

Egeraat brought in Danish Lighting Architect Gunver Hansen to identify and implement the most optimal lighting solution, which had to have individually controllable fixtures and had to be able to reproduce the lighting concept created by Van Egeraat. It was also crucial that the fixtures would be able to illuminate the relatively difficult projection surface, which was dark and very diverse. At the same time the lighting needed to be bright and powerful enough to be seen from a distance. Finally, of course there was also a desire for low power consumption.

“At night the backlight perforated façade transforms the incinerator into a gently glowing beacon – a symbol of the plant’s energy production,” said Erick van Egeraat about his vision. “Several times an hour a spark of light will gradually grow into a burning flame that lights up the entire building. When the metaphorical fire ceases, the building falls back into a state of burning embers.”

The chosen lighting solution led to installation of 112 Martin Exterior 410 fixtures and 78 Tripix 1200 LED strips – all of which are controlled by Martin’s M-PC software.

The structure itself consists of a framing grid built around the new chimney. An amber-colored aluminium plating is mounted onto the grid to form the exterior facade of the tower. The fixtures are mounted inside on the grid between the outer facade and the facade of the inner building, and the fixtures project onto the inner facade, which is visible at night through the laser-cut circular openings of the outer facade. Each individual fixture had to be placed carefully so the colours would mix correctly and the output would be even. Also, as the direct view into the LEDs in the fixtures had to be avoided, a number of the projectors had to be screened off with a specially designed grid.

The next challenge that presented itself was how to mount the fixtures. A lift was not an option as the fixtures had to be mounted between the inner surface and the new exterior facade. As the space was not accessible to any kind of machinery, a team of professional climbers from Danclimb was hired to mount the fixtures via rope access.

“We’re very pleased with the end result,” Lighting Architect, Gunver Hansen added. “The many creative possibilities for changing light color and light patterns on the Energy Tower’s facades work amazingly. I think we have succeeded in creating a shining Energy Tower, that is a fascinating and magical landmark on the dark Roskilde night sky.“

The Energy Tower has been submitted for the Danish Lighting Award 2014.